Sunday, March 29, 2015


So after working outside all day, I came home to my special birthday dinner and I promised to share the details.  I told 2nd Man I'd love to have lasagna.  Do you know that in all these years, he's never made a lasagna?  I know, weird huh?  We've eaten it many times of course, at restaurants or various friends dinners, but for some reason, he's just never made one at home.  I asked if he was going to look up a recipe and he said no, he'd just make it up.  So he went to the store, roamed around for ingredients and came back and made this... 

It was a huge pan of lasagna full of cheese and meat sauce and pasta...all from scratch and hot and bubbly when I walked in the door.

Unbeknownst to me, he also made a pound cake (one of my faves) and had it hot and fresh out of the oven.

We tried a new sparking wine (really a champagne but can't be called that because it's not from Champagne, France).  This is a California fizzy wine with added almond essence.  It was pretty good.  A bit sweet but different than champagne and actually a nice compliment to the dinner.
Closeup of lasagna....OMG it was heaven on a plate.  Since he just made it up on the fly, I need to get him to recite the recipe to me so we can write it down.  

Pound Cake
This is a slice of the pound cake.  I might be biased but I swear it's the best pound cake ever.  He's got that recipe committed to memory, but he tells me it has a couple of secret ingredients...I think that means I'm not sure if I'll be able to drag that one out of him, LOL!

After the perfect day and the perfect weather this was the perfect meal.

Today, as this posts, it's back to the farm to start building some flower beds at the front of the garden and around the house.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015


AHHH....back on the zen machine, as it should be.  The yard was OUT OF CONTROL.  I mean, I've rarely seen it this long.  See below for the results.

This is the view off the end of the was growing up over the bottom step...

...but not when I was finished mowing.

This is the view down the driveway before (thought my Fiat was going to set the grass on fire it was so high).

...but afterward, it was nice and trim.  I set the mower to a low height to get through the clover and weeds and down to the grass so it would open up and start growing.

The day wasn't without a casualty however.  I ran over the several places (it was coiled up).  The grass had grown over it and I didn't see it and I forgot about it.  Oh well, now I can get a longer one for watering purposes.  Everything happens for a reason, right?  LOL.

More on dinner tomorrow, and I'll reply to the comments tomorrow evening as well.  It's been a long day, I have a bit of a sunburn, my muscles are sore, but my tummy is full, I have had a glass or two of is good for 50+1 day...


On this 50th year plus one day of my life, I'm off to the farm...and the weather could not BE more perfect.  Sunny, clear, and cool.  It's a rare gift in this part of the state.  Usually we go from Winter to Monsoon to Summer.  Now it feels like we went from Winter to Monsoon to actual Spring!

Today's agenda is to mow and edge.  The Big Green Zen Machine (our John Deere mower) is back from the shop, tuned up, cleaned up, sharpened up and ready to mow another season.  With all this rain, the yard is CRAZY out of control.  I'll make sure to get lots of before and after pics.

Mowing is my zen machine experience, the edging, meh, not so much.  But it all has to get done because it just looks so crazy.

2nd Man is staying in town because he has to do some work but he's also going to make my belated birthday dinner (he couldn't do it last night because he was working and it was late when he got home so today is the day).  

I'll have an update blog post up later tonight and I'll start replying to all of your wonderful comments about my birthday!

Friday, March 27, 2015


Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, this is 2nd Man typing but I had to get 1st Man to help me figure out how to log in and post this.  It's not as easy as I tease him about being so easy, HA.  So it wasn't entirely a surprise to him but I wanted to make sure I let everyone know that today is his birthday because he wouldn't do it himself.  

And it is not just any birthday, but the big FIVE-OH! 

I am thankful for every day we have and I know that our farm, small as it may be, as unfinished or incomplete as it may be, is the ultimate birthday wish for both of us and I'm glad to share the journey.

Happy Birthday to you!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Wheelbarrow garden, image courtesy of
This is a cool way to re-purpose an old wheelbarrow.  A few holes drilled in the bottom, some potting soil, and some herbs or small veggies.  It's so rustic looking and a great way to have some extra planting containers.

We already have one that we want to re-purpose and I'm going to do it with flowers but 2nd Family has at least one (or two) wheelbarrows that are aging and we want to claim when they decide to get rid of them.  

Be inspired!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Since I haven't been able to get out much on the property with the wet and the mud, I was looking back through some pictures I had taken over the last few months and found these two.  

Here are a couple pics of the other persimmon tree on the property.  It's least 50 feet tall.  See this picture?  The little dots WAAAAY at the top?  Those are the few that were left on the tree at the time I took the photo.  

Wild American Persimmon
Like I said, it's a HUGE tree...not sure there will be ever be much we can do to harvest the ones way up there in future years.  The picture below is the around the base of the tree.  It's a bit wiry and out of control (as I understand wild persimmon trees can be) but I think it could stand a bit of a trimming so that we can at least get around underneath it next Fall and get to the fruit.

We'd love to at clear out the ground around it and open it up a bit so that maybe it will flourish and we can have more persimmons than we'll know what to do with.   Even after THE LAST TIME, I'm willing to give them another chance later this year...ONE more chance.

American Persimmon
Still, it's so fascinating that these trees have just come up on the property and been there for years and years.  This tree in fact, according to a garden center friend that saw the pictures, is probably more than thirty years old.  

Isn't nature wonderful?

Monday, March 23, 2015


Well, I know parts of the country are still having snow on these first days of Spring...but we have buds on trees...

...the pear trees are flowering...

...this tree, ornamental pear we believe, is also flowering.
Indian Paintbrush blooming
...but the best sign of all are these first few pops of seasonal Texas wildflowers along the side of the road leading to the farm.  These are called Indian Paintbrush, which means Bluebonnets can't be far behind.

Wildflower season in Texas is rich with color and beauty.  I'll make sure to get a lot of pictures when it's at it's peak.

So while the weekend was wet and pretty much nothing we could do outside, it did nourish the soil and provide water for the coming Spring blooms.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Tires almost stuck in mud
NOTHING got done outside today after the rains stopped.  

Well nothing except almost getting 2nd Man's car stuck in the yard.  Oops!  I pulled up close to the house to unload some landscape timbers and opened the door and stepped out into a deep puddle.  Next, I realized my shoe was stuck in the mud so I got back in the car, of course, getting mud on the carpet.  When I started the engine and put it in reverse, the tires spun before finally backing up.

I parked it in a high spot in the yard, though as you can see below, standing water was all over the place.  I put on the rubber boots (I swear, I love those things), unloaded the timbers and decided to just do a few things inside.  

Standing water in yard
I stayed a few hours and came back into town.  Rain gauge showed almost 7 inches total over the last week and a half.  It was worth the round trip though, when I came home 2nd Man had prepared this for dinner...

Stuffed pork tenderloin over polenta
...bacon wrapped, stuffed pork tenderloin over polenta and peppers with roasted mixed vegetables on the side.  It was a wonderful way to end an otherwise mostly unproductive weekend.


Volunteer for Victory, vintage poster image courtesy of Wikicommons
While this poster isn't conservation or food or gardening related, I love the image.  And let's face it the Red Cross does a wonderful job.  When we had Hurricane Ike come through a few years ago, Red Cross was the first group you saw, passing out water, ice, and food...a great organization.  

One of those groups you don't want to see coming to your door but if you do need them, it's a good thing to see.

Hope you are having a good weekend.  Rain has stopped but we are supersaturated.  We'll see what gets done.  More this afternoon/evening.